“If you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there”- Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland
If your business website has not been audited in the past two years, you are in for a lot of surprises and not good ones I’m afraid to say. A website audit will tell you where you are and set you on the right road for success!
So much has changed with the way Google and other search engines analyze and rank pages on your website. You will need to know where your problems are and fix them now.
One of the areas you should be very concerned with is the User Experience/User Interfaces that your website provides. Couple this with a simple item like not having a secure website with an SSL Certificate; either one will kill your chances of obtaining high ranking regardless of your diligence with creating good content. If your website is not Mobile Friendly, Google will not consider your website up to the latest standards.
Today, one needs to dig deep into a website and identify issues that will greatly affect how your website ranks for keywords and phrases and how your website compares with your competition.
How deep should a website audit go? The answer is really deep from the first to the last page and checking each and every page for all elements that are used to create the site. This means all coding, not just a looking at Meta, ALT, Heading and other tags.
Here is what a deep Audit examines
- Global Performance Information
- Global Rank
- Country Rank
- Category Rank
- Ranking Audit
- Keyword Ranking Status
- UI & UX
- Call to Actions
- Mobile friendly?
- Content Overview (On-Page)Keyword Focus
- URL Structure
- Title Tags
- META Description
- OG Tags (Open Graph)
- Heading Tags (H1 – H6)
- Content (Word Count, etc.)
- Internal Linking and Anchor Tags (Link Structure)
- Image Names and ALT Tags
- Indexing Overview
- Indexing Optimization Analysis
- Page Exclusions (robots.txt)
- Page Inclusions (sitemap.xml)
- URL Redirects (301, 302, www / non-www)
- Duplicate Content
- Broken Links
- Code Validation
- Page Speed (CSS, JS, Caching, Image-sizes)
- SSL Settings (http vs. https) Linking Analysis Overview (Off-Page)
- Inbound Followed Links
- Linking Root Domains
- Authority and Trust
- Social Media Metrics
- Competitive Link Comparison
- Social Media Visibility & Reach
A Ranking Audit is an analysis on how your website is ranking for keywords and phrases. This audit can be extended by doing a competitive ranking audit that includes an audit of your competitors ranking. Another audit element can analyze how many keywords and phrases on any given website are ranking in the first 5 search positions as compared to the next 20 or 50 positions. This will help find more optimization potential for rankings >10.
UI & UX
UI = User Interface and UX = User Experience. This is not an analysis by numbers directly, but having a good User Interface and Look & Feel may lead to a good User Experience. Good user Interface elements that drive a good User Experience are clear. Call to Actions, good readability of the text and is the website mobile friendly just to name a few examples. This is important as search engine can measure user signals. If a visitor after searching for a keyword or phrase is satisfied with a given website due to a good UI & UX, they won’t bounce back to search engine. Most likely they will take action on the website like purchasing a product. This drives revenue to the website owner more often than a website with poor UI & UX. Websites with positive user signals will be ranked higher.
Content Overview (On-Page)
Content Analysis is a large and important chunk of a comprehensive website analysis. This touches everything visible on your website.
They keyword focus audit analyzes how well you’ve identified and targeted the keywords that people use to find your page.
However, good content doesn’t stop here. It is also used to determine the quality of the content by measuring the appropriate word count of the text, by applying the right information to (non-visible) META information like META descriptions, image ALT Tags, internal linking, etc. Finally, is this page ready to be linked appropriately to any social network like Facebook and Twitter?
Technical analysis like the indexing status of a website is important because if search engines cannot index the website properly, it cannot understand the content and meaning of the website.
Indexing begins with choosing the right pages to be indexed and those not to be indexed. The Google Search Bot has just a very small amount of time to index a website. The Google Bot just indexes a specific amount of pages of a site. The analysis looks deep into your website to help determine which pages to index and which pages to exclude from the index.
Analysis of possible broken links is important in order to avoid people reaching an error page. Reaching an error page by clicking on a broken link may cause dissatisfaction and frustration for the user. If the user returns to the search engine result page and conducts another search Google will value this behavior as a bad user signal.
Linking Analysis Overview (Off-Page)
The Internet is a “web”! It’s a huge network of links pointing from one web page to another. But linking is a double-edged sword. It’s important that two linked resources have a contextual meaning to each other. In this case it brings a higher value for the user and the search engine as well as for ranking determination.
An Analysis will check all inbound links regarding their contextual value to the web page and their possible toxicity level. This identifies the authority and trust transfer to the given page. If links are just created in order to get higher ranking they may be considered as spam by search engines.
A complete, deep Audit will provide all of the information about your website in the form of a detailed report. This report will be your roadmap for the process of making the necessary corrections to your website to obtain higher rankings.